The government has announced new support for workers if car dealerships are forced to close under new coronavirus restrictions.
It will pay two-thirds of workers’ salary up to £2,100 a month without employers having to contribute.
Rishi Sunak said this afternoon (Oct 9) that the expansion of the Job Support Scheme would protect jobs and provide ‘reassurance and a safety net’ for people and businesses across the UK in advance of a potentially ‘difficult winter’.
Businesses that may be legally forced to shut because of Covid-19 restrictions will receive grants to pay 67 per cent of the wages of staff who cannot work, with a limit of £2,100 per month.
Employers will still have to pay National Insurance and pension contributions, and staff will have to be off for at least seven days in a row.
It will launch on November 1 and is currently planned to assist hospitality venues in hotspot areas that may have to close temporarily.
Ministers are also expected to outline a three-tier local lockdown system on Monday (Oct 12), which could see these types of business temporarily closed to combat the spread of the virus.
Businesses that are already legally closed, such as nightclubs, will also be eligible.
The chancellor told reporters: ‘Throughout this crisis, my priority has always been to protect jobs, so today I’m announcing an expansion of our Job Support Scheme, specifically to protect those jobs of people who work in businesses who may be asked to close.
‘If that happens, those workers will receive two-thirds of their wages for the time that they’re unable to go to work.
‘I hope this provides reassurance and a safety net for people and businesses in advance of what may be a difficult winter.’
A Treasury source has said the scheme, which will run for six months, will cost ‘hundreds of millions’ of pounds a month.
Businesses forced to close will also be able claim cash grants of up to £3,000 a month to help with fixed costs.